Not just biofuels: Algae’s next wave

March 30, 2020 by  
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Applications in packaging and other products are beginning to gain momentum.

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Not just biofuels: Algae’s next wave

Are these zero-carbon domes the future of sustainable housing?

March 20, 2020 by  
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When design and architecture start-up Geoship met its $100,000 equity crowdfunding goal in just five days in January 2020, founder and CEO Morgan Bierschenk knew the fledgling company had something special on its hands. The product? Sustainable, affordable housing in the form of unique geodesic domes that are also zero-carbon. Geoship built its first prototype dome in 2015, and in 2019, it partnered with Zappos in an effort to address the homelessness crisis in downtown Las Vegas, where the company is headquartered. The partnership has since created a scalable model of villages specifically aimed at helping to eliminate homelessness in the United States by 2030. Related: Create your own backyard geodesic dome with these super affordable DIY kits So what makes these domes so special? A 100% bioceramic material combined with basalt and hemp fiber (similar to bone and shells) is used to construct the framing, insulation and panels to provide an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional building materials. This ceramic composite is designed to withstand extreme temperatures, making it fireproof up to 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit. The dome shape distributes pressure evenly throughout the structure, a feature that makes it both earthquake- and hurricane-proof, according to Geoship. Additionally, the material doesn’t attract mold or insects and won’t rust, rot or deteriorate. The minerals used to create the bioceramic can be harvested from sustainable, natural resources, such as seawater desalination plants and non-toxic sewage treatment plants. Old material can either be turned into new panels or used as fertilizer. Currently, estimated turnkey prices for the domes range from $45,000 to $230,000, depending on the size. The price includes everything from delivery, permitting, installation, mechanical systems, interior finishing, appliances and materials for passive solar heating and cooling. Geoship is unique in that it is structured as a “Social Purpose Corporation,” a multi-stakeholder cooperative where customers will be major owners in the company in addition to the investors and employees, a model that Bierschenk believes consumers were all too ready for. “Old school capitalism makes rich people richer, and everybody defers responsibility, while our planet pays the price,” Bierschenk said. “We’re shifting that paradigm by making our seed investment widely accessible, and distributing equity to customers and the Earth.” + Geoship Images via Geoship

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Are these zero-carbon domes the future of sustainable housing?

Ibiza home uses passive, bioclimatic systems to reduce energy use

March 20, 2020 by  
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Spain’s idyllic Balearic Islands are an inspiration for artists and architects alike. One Formentera-based architect Marià Castelló has just used Ibiza’s spectacular beauty to craft a modern home. Tucked into the island’s hilly San Mateo region in the north, Ca l’Amo is a serene retreat comprised of five cube-like volumes that use several passive, bioclimatic elements to reduce the project’s environmental footprint. The San Mateo plains were once filled with terraced landscapes used for agriculture , but over the years, the area has regrown its native pine and juniper forests. Using this natural landscape as inspiration, Marià Castelló designed Ca l’Amo, a contemporary home shaded by natural vegetation . Built upon two existing dry stone walls, the home’s white cladding and natural limestone terraces give it an undeniably Mediterranean feel. Related: Architects revamp a 100-year-old warehouse into a dreamy off-grid refuge in Ibiza The five rectangular volumes are spaced to provide openings between each, creating a harmonious connection between the indoors and outdoors. The dwelling features a swimming pool and covered lounge area on one end, where residents can make the most of the Mediterranean climate. This first volume is then connected linearly to the following four volumes, which contain the shared and private living spaces. The interior spaces reflect the same openness of the exterior. With walls of sliding glass doors, each volume can be opened up to the elements. A minimalist interior includes white walls and cross-laminated timber accents. Outfitted with sparse pieces of custom-designed furniture, the living spaces put all of the focus on the natural setting. Further putting nature at the forefront of the design, the residence was designed to reduce energy usage through the implementation of several passive and bioclimatic design elements. The separate volumes and open spaces were designed to take full advantage of natural light and air ventilation, while the home was strategically positioned to use the vegetation and sun path to keep the interior spaces cool and comfortable year-round. Additionally, a rainwater collection system includes a cistern that can store up to 200 metric tons of water for reuse. +  Marià Castelló Architecture Via Wallpaper* Images via Marià Castelló

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Ibiza home uses passive, bioclimatic systems to reduce energy use

2030 goals: Mattel aims for 100% recycled and recyclable toys

December 27, 2019 by  
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Firm behind Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price plans to launch first toy made from and packaged in green materials in early 2020.

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2030 goals: Mattel aims for 100% recycled and recyclable toys

America chose the path to self-destruction. What about the rest of us?

November 7, 2019 by  
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Don’t mourn. Organize.

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America chose the path to self-destruction. What about the rest of us?

Demand from first-time, repeat buyers powers new era of large-scale renewables growth

November 7, 2019 by  
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The fall gathering of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance brings fresh faces and fresh ideas.

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Demand from first-time, repeat buyers powers new era of large-scale renewables growth

This AI-driven energy efficiency app in Madrid’s metro has many fans

November 7, 2019 by  
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The software has helped Metro de Madrid reduce its energy costs by 25 percent so far.

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This AI-driven energy efficiency app in Madrid’s metro has many fans

Biomaterials Archive debuts at Dutch Design Week 2019

October 22, 2019 by  
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Dutch Design Week , the largest design event in Northern Europe, is back once again this October to show how pioneering designers around the globe are changing the world for the better. Spread out across nine days with over a hundred locations in Eindhoven, the annual event will host a wide array of exhibitions, lectures, festivities and more — including the first-ever public presentation of a Biomaterials Archive , where attendees can see, touch, smell and even taste innovative materials made by students from organic and recycled materials. Held this year from October 19 to 27, Dutch Design Week is an annual showcase of futuristic design that covers a wide breadth of topics from sustainable farming to artificial intelligence and robotics. Every year, more than 2,600 designers are invited to present their pioneering work — with a focus given to young and upcoming talent — and more than 350,000 visitors from the area and abroad flock to Eindhoven to see how design has the potential to improve the world. Creative proposals for reducing waste and addressing other timely environmental topics, such as climate and biodiversity crises, have also been increasingly highlighted in recent years.  One such example of forward-thinking design by young designers can be found at the Biomaterials Archive, a multi-sensory exhibit open to the public all week at Molenveld 42 | Downtown. Hosted by Ana Lisa, the tutor for Design Academy Eindhoven’s Make Material Sense class, the exhibition will feature #ZeroWaste and #ZeroBudget material samples created by second-year BA students. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with proposed alternatives to materials such as leather, plastic, marble, cotton and MDF. Related: Colorful People’s Pavilion in Eindhoven is made from 100% borrowed materials “It unveils how these young designers are taking matter into their own hands by farming organisms on the Academy’s shelves or recycling what’s being trashed at home, school’s canteen, city or farms,” reads a statement on the DDW website, which references biomaterials made from old bread, lichen, acorn-MDF, coffee grounds, kombucha , cow manure and even vacuum dust. “While they close some loops and make new, shorter life-span materials that forge new paths into design and architecture.” + Biomaterials Archive Images via DDW

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Biomaterials Archive debuts at Dutch Design Week 2019

Biomaterials Archive debuts at Dutch Design Week 2019

October 22, 2019 by  
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Dutch Design Week , the largest design event in Northern Europe, is back once again this October to show how pioneering designers around the globe are changing the world for the better. Spread out across nine days with over a hundred locations in Eindhoven, the annual event will host a wide array of exhibitions, lectures, festivities and more — including the first-ever public presentation of a Biomaterials Archive , where attendees can see, touch, smell and even taste innovative materials made by students from organic and recycled materials. Held this year from October 19 to 27, Dutch Design Week is an annual showcase of futuristic design that covers a wide breadth of topics from sustainable farming to artificial intelligence and robotics. Every year, more than 2,600 designers are invited to present their pioneering work — with a focus given to young and upcoming talent — and more than 350,000 visitors from the area and abroad flock to Eindhoven to see how design has the potential to improve the world. Creative proposals for reducing waste and addressing other timely environmental topics, such as climate and biodiversity crises, have also been increasingly highlighted in recent years.  One such example of forward-thinking design by young designers can be found at the Biomaterials Archive, a multi-sensory exhibit open to the public all week at Molenveld 42 | Downtown. Hosted by Ana Lisa, the tutor for Design Academy Eindhoven’s Make Material Sense class, the exhibition will feature #ZeroWaste and #ZeroBudget material samples created by second-year BA students. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with proposed alternatives to materials such as leather, plastic, marble, cotton and MDF. Related: Colorful People’s Pavilion in Eindhoven is made from 100% borrowed materials “It unveils how these young designers are taking matter into their own hands by farming organisms on the Academy’s shelves or recycling what’s being trashed at home, school’s canteen, city or farms,” reads a statement on the DDW website, which references biomaterials made from old bread, lichen, acorn-MDF, coffee grounds, kombucha , cow manure and even vacuum dust. “While they close some loops and make new, shorter life-span materials that forge new paths into design and architecture.” + Biomaterials Archive Images via DDW

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Biomaterials Archive debuts at Dutch Design Week 2019

Can the gene editing technology CRISPR help reduce biodiversity loss worldwide?

September 20, 2019 by  
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Though scientists are optimistic that CRISPR could help, they also emphasize caution and community engagement in order to get it right.

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Can the gene editing technology CRISPR help reduce biodiversity loss worldwide?

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